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The Pew Research Center has found that 43% of us go online several times a day, while 26% confess to going online “almost constantly” (you know who you are). Of course, not all time spent online is wasted.
If you work from home, you have the ability to design and use your home office as you’d like. This is a great opportunity to choose some eco-friendly features. Going eco-friendly can easily be done if you take your time and go from room to room. And considering that homeowners already spend up to 4% of their home’s value on repairs, why not focus on creating a greener space? So if you’re looking for a few simple ways to go green in your home office, keep reading.
Be Mindful of What Kind of Light You Use
Every office needs plenty of light. But one major advantage that you may have by having a home office is that you probably have a window or two. Unfortunately, not a lot of office spaces have windows. So you should take advantage of the fact that you have windows and let in the natural light. While working during the day, keep the lights off and use the natural light to keep your office nice and bright. And if you do need additional lights, like an overhead light or a desk lamp, consider choosing an eco-friendly option. Using LED bulbs or energy efficient light fixtures can be an easy way to reduce your energy use. Overall, you should keep in mind what kind of lighting you’re using and utilize natural light whenever possible. This will be better for both your energy usage and your eyes.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Did you know that one individual office worker in the U.S. goes through about 10,000 sheets of paper every year? A lot of that paper, unfortunately, does not get recycled or reused and can be pretty harmful to the environment. But since you work at home, you can control how much paper you use and what you do with it when you’re done. You should always recycle any paper products you use in your home office and try to reuse paper whenever possible. Or if you can, try to eliminate paper waste altogether and strictly utilize online options, like email and cloud document storage. Along with paper products, there are other ways you can reduce, reuse, and recycle in your home office. For example, if you need to ship something, consider using recycled boxes or bags to eliminate waste. You can also be mindful of things like water bottles, paper towels, and other items you may use in your office — always look for an eco-friendly alternative when possible.
Use Your Electronics Wisely
There’s a good chance you use electronics on a daily basis for work. Whether it’s a phone, laptop, or tablet, electronics can use a surprising amount of energy. This is especially true seeing as how there are about 11 million meetings every day in the U.S., many of which use technology like video conferencing or VoIP services. And since you work from home, it can be tempting to leave all of your electronics running and plugged in, even when you’re not using them. But instead, you should consider using power-saving modes and unplugging devices to reduce energy consumption. When you’re done working for the day, simply turn off your devices until they need to be used again.
Going green doesn’t have to involve a lot of effort. If you keep these simple tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a more eco-friendly home office in no time. And when it comes time to sell your home, the ROI from your green office could just cover that 6% realtor commission.